View Full Version : Mythic Study - The Magician
I don't know about everybody else, but I got SO many innovative and interesting insights from the postings about the Fool. You guys are better than any book and I appreciate hearing your thoughts.
I'm raring to go on a new card - The Magician
How I see the card and what it means to me
I see a figure at a crossroad who is using a natural stone as an altar for his magical implements. His left hand is raised to receive energy from the heavens while his right hand directs this energy toward the earth. His bright read cloak stands out against the barren landscape.
To me, this set of images denotes the ability to select the right path (from the crossroad) by using our natural, intuitive magic (the rough stone altar). The well known magical implements (cup, etc.) help us deal with a choice that must be made. The raised and lowered hands indicate our empowerment to choose and to ground the energies we deal with. I see the red cloak as happy, forceful and protective. The flame on the staff will light the way when it gets dark.
After looking at this card, I realized that the majors in this deck are not numbered. I wonder why. Does anyone know?
Book meaning - this is the god Hermes, son of Zeus and Maia. He is the guide and trickster. He taught mankind divination.
I'm continuing in the tradition of Daizy, who gave us his personal meaning first. So cool. I can't wait to hear from ya'll!!
I really like this card as the magicial. I think his red coat and white tunic says a lot about him as red and white is a very powerful colour combination. White is pure and inncocent while red is firey and passionate. Sometimes I feel that the Magician doesn't think through his actions any more than The Fool.
Hermes is also appears on the Judgement card in this deck so I am not sure if there is a link.
I also think that the wand entwined with the two snakes is very important (sorry can't remember what the symbol is called) it is a symbol of healing and medicine also apocrathey. All our ambulances have this sign on them.
Its called the caduceus, associated with the yogic chakras, kundalini, and Hermes. Kundalini is related to sex energy, which is why people like Crowley wrote about sex + magic.
And of course this guy's the Magician.
I like the idea that he's 'unthinking' like the Fool: that makes sense, because essentially the Magician is a channel rather than a wilful force or potency. In that respect I think he concerns a kind of dynamic balance between opposites, like you see with the two pillars on the kaballistic Tree of Life: the creative tension between energy and form.
I love this card! :) The Magician reminds me of a character who walks in a room and his presence demands attention. Witty, charming, clever, bold, he’ll give you a choice and say, “should you or should you not” with a mischievous grin and a sly look in his eye.
You don’t know whether to trust him or not but you sense underneath, his intentions are sincere. That’s the impression his garments leave me with. The red outer garment – fiery, passionate, powerful…and underneath, the white garment, pure and innocent. The white tames the red so that it's not overbearing.
The Fool to me doesn’t know what he’s doing or where he’s going but the Magician knows very well where he’s headed. I love the way the book describes how we encounter the Magician. Always unexpected, that spark of an idea, or making a decision not on past experience but on intuition, like, “something just tells me I should do this” type thinking.
This is a great card…. :)
Remember also that the caducus was passed on to Hermes from the seer Tiresias. The story goes that the saw 2 snakes copulating (entertwined) and with his staff he tried to separate them. Mortally wounding the female snake, he was immediately turned into a woman and lived as such for 7 years. He then saw another pair of snakes mating, repeated his action and this time wounded the male and was turned back into a man. (making him the only person then to have lived as a man and a woman). The symbol of the caducus thus brings together the totemic power of the snake and the properties and energies of opposites uniting or balancing each other.
Great story aga. Gives me a new appreciation of the caduceus, hermes and snakes.
I forgot about the trickster aspect of the M until Daizy reminded.
Question: is there an association via the caduceus of M that should be explored in terms of kundalini energy? Maybe the "thrust into being" that I associate with a staff of any kind. (ponder ponder)
Just wanted to add a few more thoughts...
I thought it odd that the image of him is so young looking but I was reading, "The Complete World of Greek Mythology" written by Richard Buxton and on two occassions he disguised himself as a young man to Priam, king of Troy and to Kalypso, a goddess. I wonder if that is why he is portrayed as a young man on the card?
The same book also says he lacks the capacity for brute force, he resorts to guile, craft and that his trademark symbol is a staff, a non-aggressive weapon which he uses to beguile mortals.
With the same barren landscape as in the Fool's card, I can just see the Fool in my mind's eye, blindly going down his path, coming to a crossroads not knowing which direction to take and a fiery, passionate young man appears to him showing him mischievously the way to go...
I understand even more how the Magician works in us. It's that intuitive feeling we have when we are faced with a decision as to which way to go. It's sudden, unexpected, a solution that hits us out of the blue...it's that gut feeling we have when the answers are unclear but we just sense that this or that direction is the one....
I really liked the way Wizzle put it, "thrust into being", and Theredfox, "tension between energy and form". I think that really sums up what the Magician is....
Here's a great website about Hermes
Looks like a great website in general - thanks for sharing!
An perfect combination! Hermes is a jack of all trade and I always saw magician like that. And performing would perfectly suit that particuliar god!
I always struggle with the Magician and I don't know why but I just never see him as a trickster or as any of the LWB meanings.
I always see the Magician as all of the Aces combined. So when he comes up it says to me that there is major potential in whatever issue or venture you are querying. The potential or magic is available to you in every elememtal realm of your life.
Maybe one day I will get this trad. Magician event in my life and I will grasp this meaning. For now I'll stick with the above. I just can't seem to get past it :laugh:
A young man wearing a white tunic and red cape stands at a crossroads. His body posture indicates “as above, so below.” Before him is a rock upon which are a chalice, a sword, a caduceus (wand) and a pentacle.
place of meeting with transcendent powers
a statue of Hermes stood guard at crossroads and forks in the road, both to honor him and to invoke his blessings on the traveler, wanderer and homeless
the unknown – hazard, choice, destiny, supernatural powers
the union of opposites
the meeting place of time and space
image of human fears and hopes at a moment of choice
power, protection, separation, metamorphosis, concealment
separation from the materialistic world
emblem of divine protection
symbol of dignity and position
means of hiding man’s true nature (while the tunic reveals man’s true nature)
the Cup of Fortune, especially fortune in love
the heart; feelings and emotions
the cutting edge of the mind and its power
authority, justice, judgment
sudden good luck
Hermes was patron of merchants and businessmen
health and harmony
microcosm of the human body and mind
represents all opposites – good and evil, male and female, light and dark, etc
supernatural powers and magical transformation
untapped and limitless potential
patron of travelers, patron of all forms of communication, patron of thieves and liars, ruler of magic and divination, and bringer of sudden good luck and changes in fortune
known as the Trickster because of his deceitful and ambiguous nature, yet he’s also the messenger of the gods and the guide of souls into the underworld
he is the child of spiritual light (from his father, Zeus) and primordial darkness (from his mother, Maia)
his red and white clothes reflect the mixture of earthly passions and spiritual clarity that are part of his nature
Apollo gave him the gift of divination
as master of the four elements, Hermes taught man the skills of geomancy (earth divination), pyromancy (fire divination), hydromancy (water divination) and aeromancy (air divination)
his presence suggests that there is within each of us the foresight and the resources, which are hidden from consciousness, to divine what direction to take and what choices to make; he represents the unconscious power within that looks after us and that appears at the most difficult and critical moments to offer guidance and wisdom that penetrate the mind, the imagination, the heart and the body
he doesn’t come when called, but will show up as disturbing dreams, a chance meeting with someone who turns out to be a catalyst in one’s journey, a sudden hunch or the realization that one knows more than one thought
he’s a reminder that following the inner guide doesn’t always mean making safe choices or ones that guarantee results
I completed my workbook exercise on 3 Aug 91. My key color was light blue, which I used to color Hermes himself, his cloak and the paths. I wrote the following about the card:
Hermes is blue because he knows the truth and his tunic is white to reflect his clarity of vision. The two paths reflect truth and secretiveness where the self is concerned. The sword represents clearness of mind, the pentacles represent greed, the cup represents love, and the wand represents determination accompanied by strength and clarity of vision.
I like that Hermes is the messenger of the gods because I see this card as the way divinity or spirit manifests in the material world. It's as if Hermes as The Magician in this card is the conduit for spiritual or divine energy. To me this card reminds us to be mindful of how we direct and focus our energy and how we are creating our manifest world with every choice we make. The fact that the landscape is quite barren reminds me that while we have the tools at our disposal to create the world we want, effort is still required to achieve any real growth.